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COVID In Minnesota: State's Average Case Rate Is Now Worst In The Nation

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With the Minnesota's positivity rate now officially above the line for high risk, and the state's seven-day COVID-19 case rate the nation's absolute worst, the state's health department reported Wednesday that there have been 3,457 newly reported positive cases and 46 new deaths, including one person each from Brown, Fillmore and Wright counties in their late 40s.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health's daily update, the state's total number of people who have been infected by COVID has risen to 851,802 since the pandemic began, with 9,093 deaths attributed to the virus. Health officials say 9,433 have been re-infected since the start of the pandemic.

Minnesota's latest rolling seven-day average positivity rate is currently sitting at 10.5%, the highest that figure has been since nearly a year ago. There are also a reported 70.9 daily new cases per 100,000 Minnesota residents, which puts the state well above the line considered high risk (which is merely 10 per 100,000).

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Minnesota's seven-day case rate is now the worst in the nation, at 556.5 per 100,000 people. Minnesota overtook Michigan, which had a higher case rate earlier in the week.

Hospitals across the state are making a desperate plea for the public's help as COVID-19 cases hit an all-time high this year. On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz announced that medical teams from the federal government are being sent to support Minnesota hospitals during the current COVID-19 surge.

Hospitalizations are rising sharply over the last few weeks, easily the highest they've been outside of November and December of last year. Total ICU bed usage among COVID-19 patients is at 320; at the peak last year, that figure never breached 400. Additionally, there are currently 1,062 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized in non-ICU beds. The rate of new COVID hospitalizations per 100,000 residents is at 17.7.

As of Wednesday morning, figures from the Minnesota Department of Health showed that about 68.1% of Minnesotans 5 and older had received at least one vaccine dose, and 96% of those 65 or older had received at least one dose. In total, the state has administered 7,394,003 doses of vaccine, with about 3.33 million residents having completed their vaccine series.

There have been more than 715,000 vaccine booster shots given to eligible Minnesotans. Earlier this week, health officials said they are prepared to soon lower booster restrictions to include all adults ages 18 and over.

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